Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Weight a minute...

So, I went out with one of my friends last night to Ceviche, a great tapas and sangria restaurant here in Tampa, and we enjoyed ourselves. I tried several tapas plates and enjoyed them quite a lot. I stayed true to my weight loss goals and ate a fava bean salad, salmon, and marinated mushroom; they were delicious. I also enjoyed two delicious glasses of sangria. I love their sangria (all sangria in general really). It's not too fruity and not too alcoholic; overall, it's the ideal sangria. There was just one problem.

Sangria isn't too bad on weight watchers. 12 ounces only has 4.5 points, because it's mostly wine based and doesn't have a lot of other juices and added sugars. But, herein lies the problem. I got on the scale this morning and weighed 2 pounds more than I did yesterday. I always weigh more the morning after I have ANYTHING to drink. I don't get it and it infuriates me. Why, if I am following the plan, does this alway happen! It takes me another few days to get rid of those other two pounds, and I'm set back a few days on my path to my goal.

The Problem

I don't get it. It isn't like I drink all the time; I probably have what would equate to 1-2 glasses of anything per week. That's really not a lot. Do I have to cut out alcohol altogether to lose weight? That doesn't make sense to me. I save my points to enjoy a nice glass of sangria or chardonnay and I get on the scale the next morning and jump back a few days in weight. What can I do to still be able to enjoy a glass of wine and also be able to enjoy the success of working hard to drop the pounds?

Anybody else been in this situation? Do I really have to just stop drinking? Are there tips about what to eat when I drink to make it better? Will drinking water stop the gain? How much of it is water retention and how long does it take to stop retaining water?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New in Town

I moved to Tampa in the summer of 2008, so I'm not sure when I'm no longer allowed to say that I'm new in town. I still do say it, but more of an excuse as to why I don't know where I'm going, why I can't suggest a restaurant, or why I don't have a whole lot of of friends in town. In the time since I moved here, I started a job (the reason for the move), got a boyfriend, joined the Junior League of Tampa, became involved with the leadership of Emory Alumni Tampa Bay, began selling Stella & Dot, and started my M.Ed. I feel like I have sufficiently involved myself in activities, and now I'm trying to plant more personal roots.

I know I'm "involved" and have lots "going on", but sometimes this has made it more difficult to make friends in each of the activities I do. So, even though I have lots to do all the time, I still find that making those connections with people is sometimes difficult. With so much going on, there isn't a lot of time to get together with people. Plus, it's a strange conundrum to think about having to go out and make friends.

I found a blog today called MWF seeking BFF that actually applies to my situation exactly (I'm really excited to start following it more closely). She moved to Chicago two years ago with her husband and has friends scattered all over the country. This is my story exactly. She talks about pro-actively making friends and what it takes to do so.

                                               These are pictures of me with many of the friends I miss,
           spread from New York to Seattle and everywhere in-between.

Since I've never really been in a situation, before moving to Tampa, to have to "make friends" (being that I went from high school to college to living in the city that I went to college in), I have to tell you that it is much harder than you would think. I find keeping up with old friends hard enough, as I feel like I'm constantly playing phone tag and haven't caught up with everyone that I'm supposed to be caught up with; now, the thought of making new friends makes it even more challenging. I have that many more stories to learn and names of boyfriends or husbands or crushes to remember. But, I'm excited about finally planting some roots and making friends with people here in Tampa. I began making friends through my boyfriend since I moved here, but sometimes it's nice to have friends of my own. So, I decided last week to be more pro-active.

I made a few calls and sent a few facebook messages, and I've lined up plans with two girls I met through Junior League this week. I went to one of their weddings a few weeks ago, so we've already established a fairly solid friendship. The other one is someone that I've hung out with a few times over the past year, but she isn't someone that I would feel comfortable texting for lunch or a tv show that day (which I think is the measure of a really good friend). I'm really excited about making closer friendships here in Tampa! I feel like having a kid would make connections, but I'm not in the market for a child for a long while.

For those of you who have also experienced moving to a new city with only a job and no personal connections, what have you done to make closer friends? What is your mark of a "true friendship"?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ina, Martha, and Publix

First of all, I love reading recipe books, making a menu, and creating a grocery list. I love grocery lists, because I find the organization they provide so relaxing. I love making them myself in categories (produce always deserves and needs the most space), and I also love buying pads of paper that pre-prints a list for me. Recently, Hungry Girl mailed out a summer grocery list that everyone should keep with them at the store; I was hooked. The only problem with pre-printed lists are that they never really suit me or my cooking needs exactly. Nevertheless, I buy them and attempt to use them at least once.

Before actually making the list, I have to sit down and find the right recipes for the week. Usually, I don't think in terms of what is cost prohibitive, which is slowly becoming my downfall (1/4 cup of saffron? No Problem!). I just think about what sounds good at the time that I'm making my list. It usually serves me pretty well in that I follow through with all of the recipes most of the time (on occasion something will wilt or go bad before I need it and my lazy side takes over...instead of replacing the ingredient I just forget about the whole recipe...I feel really bad saying that out loud, but it's true).

The next thing that I love, directly associated, is cooking. I would cook all day long if someone would eat it and I could make whatever I wanted. I think more than cooking I really love prepping the food. I love to cut up vegetables and fruits and make little sauces and glazes. I find it to be fun. When I was little I used to cook from American Girl Doll cookbooks with the help of my mom (she wouldn't let me deep fry the hush puppies from Samantha's cook book). I also used to set up the video camera and record myself doing a cooking show. Most of the time I didn't watch them, but I made them multiple time. It was the fun of talking while I was cooking and getting to pretend that I was a tv chef. At that point, the Food Network was called TV FOOD and that was all that really existed on the channel.

The love of cooking has behooved me, and now I cook whenever I have the time. I don't know how good I am all the time, but I think most of what I make works out for me. My boyfriend always eats what I cook, and he will only tell me much, much later if he didn't like something. Normally, though, I can tell because he won't go back for seconds.

The big connector between making a grocery list and cooking a meal is going to the grocery store. I HATE going to the grocery store. I'm not sure what I hate about it, but I can never seem to find a time where the people and the atmosphere don't drive me mad. Yesterday at noon was not a good time to go. I have never seen so many dads with their children in the store at one time. This is truly a rare site if it isn't Sunday, and because of this fact they haven't learned the rules of the grocery store. Blocking an entire isle while you load up your undercart with Capri Suns is not okay. Neither is ignoring two screaming children who are old enough to know better while you question what flavor yogurt your wife wants. In addition, I can't stand when people don't know where things are, and because of this sentiment, I do my best to act like I know what I'm doing. Yesterday there was a slip-up; I was looking for Non-Fat Evaporated Milk. You would think baking aisle, right? No, it was the next aisle, and when I went to go ask the cooking demo lady (no thanks, I know what Ranch dressing tastes like on carrots), another woman tried to tell me where the Skim Milk was. She must have thought I was an idiot.

My favorite part about yesterday, though, was the Publix employee who was walking around the produce section offering grapes to people. Really? Grapes? I resisted and grinned as he passed, only to be looked at oddly by a 30-something man who thought I was nuts.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Soapbox (probably Dove)

A few tips for everyone that may or not be in etiquette books somewhere:

1. If you get an online or invitation, whether it be facebook or evite, RESPOND!

2. At direct sales parties, don't tell the hostess you're going to order something later or online if you're not. It just gets their hopes up. (Consultants know that most of the time, you're not.)

3. If someone calls you and leaves a message, call them back in a reasonable amount of time (I'm the worst about this, but making a concerted effort about being better).

4. Be respectful of people's time (don't be late)!

Organization and Time Management

I had a midterm today as wall as a paper due last night at midnight, and yesterday I had a curriculum planning meeting until noon and a Stella & Dot party from 2-5. I came home and decided to write the paper instead of waiting and turning it in late. Once finishing it at 11:00 PM, I started studying for the midterm. I haven't really been following along with the online class, although I do have to admit that much of the content is familiar to me from previous classes I've taken. I have now, after taking the midterm, come to a new conclusion.

Time management and organization are essential. In life, I am not an organized person. My boyfriend knows it, the teacher with which I closely work knows it, and most unfortunately, I know it. Being unorganized also tends to lead me into situations of poor time management. I definitely could have written the paper on Wendesday, when I had not one thing to do. But, because I hadn't sat down and realized what the latter half of my week looked like, I didn't come to that realization and do it early. Hmm...

A bigger problem? It continues to serve me just fine, which only makes it worse. I sit here at noon on a Saturday and got it all done. This is what causes the peaks and valleys of stress in my life. I come to points where everything piles up, and I think, "I just need to make it to 5:00 tomorrow and it will be all done." Why, instead, can't I think ahead and plan things out so there isn't a point where everything piles up and I'm forced to close my eyes and hope for the best? I think it's going to take the piano dropping for me to spread myself out more evenly.

On a related, but different, note: How can I organize myself? Are there books I can read or blogs I can follow or people I can hire to help? No matter what, my life is a jumbled mess. I'm just thankful I can make it through to the times like now where I can sit and look back, thankful that I got it all done.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"It's either the best match ever or the worst match ever"

 I'm currently sitting on the couch watching Isner playing Mahut in a Wimbledon opening round match. The score at this very moment in the fifth set is 41-41. They've broken every record in the book from longest set to longest match to most aces to most games. It's painful to watch! The commentator just mentioned that it was either the best or worst match he has seen, and I couldn't agree more. Isner keeps mouthing to his coach, "what do I do?" There's literally nothing he can do but hang on. What can a coach say at that point? Welp, give up or hunker down. He seems to be hunkering down as there have been about ten more games since the last time me mouthed it. It's history-making, but I'm sure there are few places either of these men wouldn't rather be.

While it is a loose connection to make, it does make me think about how I feel in life sometimes. At the current moment in my life, I know I want success for myself, but I have no idea how long it will take to get there or what that success will look like along the way. As I continue going through my daily life and making choices that seem mundane at that very moment, those choices are things that can ultimately affect where I will be in the end. And there are, of course, times where I just want to look up to my coach and say, "what do I do?" But, just like the coach in this situation, I can be told either to give up or hunker down. And because I'm not someone who gives up often or easily, I am going to hunker down. I know that I will get to an ending or victory with which I am happy, but I'll just have to keep going choice by choice and day by day to see where I end up. I'm okay with that; I'll just enjoy myself as I go.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Atlantis here I come!

So, I'm going to Atlantis. I'm not sure when yet, but I'll be planning to go. And my boyfriend will be unsure of his excitement or regret. You see, I've recently been supporting both a gym and Weight Watchers. I've at times tracked my points (God, how I hate saying that word), gone to a personal trainer, stopped tracking my points, switched my plan, looked at weight loss doctors, etc. I've thus far been unsuccessful at doing anything besides ultimately eating whatever I wanted. (I, in fact, blame my trainer for my most recent weight gain because I rationalized all of my eating with the fact that I was working out, which is quite uncommon for me.) As a result, I have been nagging my boyfriend to give me a goal or something to make me actually want to lose weight (unsure of why the weight loss itself was not enough of a goal). So, there you have it. This weekend, he caved. He said, "how much do you want to weigh," to which I replied, "129." He said, "okay, when you step on the scale and weigh 129, I'll take you to Atlantis." And that was that.

Monday, I returned to Weight Watchers Online with new vigor. I assure you that with a reward like traveling, I can reach my goal without a problem. It might take me a little while, but I'll get there. That's the reason for focusing part of my blogging on weight loss. I intend to be at my goal by the end of the year. So, on December 31st, I will be reporting on my plans to head to Atlantis. I originally thought my birthday, but that's October 2nd, and I have quite a bit of weight to lose--27 pounds to be exact. I'll stay updated on progress, and I'll do my best not to let food run my life (or my blog...).

In the mean time, I'll keep trucking away at not eating my weight in sushi, Mexican food, and bread (my three favorite things...).
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